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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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COMMENCSME2?T OF TH3> HUSETHL                                      lB
professional business to take Mm there, might live withia a stone's throw for
years and never be aware of its existence,. In immediate proximity are the offi-
ces of the Tahsi!dar5 a singnlarly mean and insignificant range of bnildings, as
if purposely made so to serve for a foil to another building which stands in the
same enclosure.
This is now nsed? or (as perhaps it would be more correct to say)  at the
time of my leaving the district was intended to be used,, as a Museum. It was
commenced by Mr. Thorahill, the Magistrate and Collector of the district, who
raised the money for the pnrpose by public subscription, intending to make o-f
it a rest-house for the reception of native gentlemen of rank, whenever they had
occasion to visit head-quarters. Though close to the Courts, which would be a
convenience, it is too far from the bazar to suit native tastes, and even if it had
been, completed according to the original design, it is not probable that it would
ever have been occupied. After an expenditure of Bs. 30,000, the work was
interrupted by the mutiny. When order had been restored, the new Collector,
Mr. Bestj with a perversity by no means uncommon in the records of Indian
local administration, set himself at once, not to complete, but to mutilate, his
predecessor's handiwork. It was intended that the building should stand in ex-
tensive grounds of its own, where it would certainly have had a very pleasing
architectural effect; but instead of this the high road was brought immediately
in front of it, so as to cut it off entirely from the new public garden ; the offices
of the Tahsildar were built on one side, and on the other was run up, at a most
awkward angle, a Mgh masonry wall j a rough thatched roof was thrown over
its centre court; doorways were introduced in. different places where they were
not wanted and only served as disfigurements, and the unfortunate building
was then nick-named " ThornhilTs Folly" and abandoned to utter neglect.
It remained thus till 1874, when, the idea of converting it into a Museum
received the support o-f Sir John Strachey, who sanctioned from provincial
funds a grant-in-aid of Bs. 335Q0. The first step taken *was to raise the centre
court by the addition of a clerestory, with windows of'reticulated^ stone tracery^
and to cover it with a stone vault, in which (so far as constmciional peculiari-
ties are concerned) I reproduced the roof-of the now ruined temple of Harideva
at Gobardhan. The cost amounted to Bs. 5,36. A porch was afterwards
added at a farther outlay of Bs. 8,494 ; but for this I am not responsible. It is
a beautiful design, well executed, and so far it reflects great credit on Yosnf,
the Municipal architect; but it is too delicate for an exterior facade on the side
of a dusty road. Something plainer would have answered the- purpose as well,
besides having a more harmonious effect After my transfer^ operations at once